During our retreat in Playa Del Carmen MEX over the summer, Jacob Singh (now a CivicActions Alumnus, Class of 2008) showed and explained to me a project he was working on to create a hosted Solr Search service for Drupal. Solr (via the Solr Integration module written and maintained by Robert Douglas) provides a method to bring very robust faceted search to Drupal sites. A few weeks ago, Jacob went to work with Acquia in order to bring this product to the masses. Read about Acquia’s hosted Solr Search plans.
This is exciting for a number of reasons. To quote Jay Batson, “But while many other Drupal sites could benefit from the capabilities offered by Solr, it’s often not practical for them to use it. They may lack the Java expertise to deploy and manage a Java-based application – or their hosting environment may not accommodate it.” Furthermore, faceted search is super user friendly, and while the Faceted Search module allows you to use taxonomy terms as facets, or combined with the CCK Facets module, turns cck fields into facets, Solr can search full text and even attachments!
Acquia’s service will bring high powered faceted search within reach of many organizations and companies that would otherwise not be able to set it up or support it. And in doing so, this is a big win for (Drupal) website managers and users everywhere.